Today is National Mac and Cheese Day! If you search the internet, you will find tons of recipes for the delicious, cheesy dish. It is one of America’s favorite comfort foods.
When I think of mac and cheese, I think of family gatherings, laughter, and great food. Growing up, no family gathering was complete without my mother’s delicious mac and cheese–five or more cheeses, cream, and butter added to penne pasta then baked to perfection. The gooier and richer, the better. Thinking back, my mother rarely purchased the boxed versions of mac and cheese. It was homemade mac and cheese all the way!
As an adult, I often crave my mother’s recipe, especially after a tedious day of work. Somehow, savoring a warm, gooey bowl of mac and cheese always makes me feel better emotionally; however, not always physically; I am lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerance is the body’s inability to process or digest milk sugars, or lactose. This can result in abdominal discomfort–not a fun experience. But lactose intolerance does not have to mean complete dairy avoidance. You can still enjoy mac and cheese and other delicious dairy foods with the right strategies, including these:
- Using lactose-reduced or lactose-free dairy products.
- Choosing natural cheeses such as cheddar, parmesan, or Monterey Jack.
- Enjoying dairy-filled dishes in smaller amounts.
In celebration of Mac and Cheese Day, here is one of my favorite lactose-free mac and cheese recipes: Old Fashioned Mac and Cheese. This recipe is prepared with lactose-free milk and sharp cheddar cheese so everyone can enjoy!
LaShaundrea Bradford is a registered dietitian nutritionist, research consultant, and owner of LaShaundreaB, LLC. She is also the creator of Mississippi Thriving, a social media platform formed to educate Mississippians on the resources, opportunities, places, and events that promote optimal health and wellness.